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Soul Run Free Pro review - solid fit, clunky design

Richard Easton
28 Feb 2016
Soul Run Free Pro
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
100
inc VAT

The Run Free Pro have a rock-solid fit but battery life is disappointing and they're not the most stylish

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As is always the case with all fitness and running earphones, the fit is key. There’s nothing worse than having a pair of earphones fall out or become tangled during a workout. In this regard, the Soul Run Free Pro does well. Its bullet-shaped design meant I had some initial reservations, especially having tested the similarly-shaped but poorly fitting SMS Audio In-Ear Wireless in the past, but thankfully any worries soon banished.

The worry was that the bullet shape means the earbuds protrude out, meaning the cable has greater leverage to pull down and away from your ears, which was the issue I had with the SMS Audio In-Ear Wireless. However, the Run Free Pro comes with three wingtips designed to hold the earbuds in place and three silicone tip sizes and after finding the right combination, I found the fit was nice and secure.

While the fit was good, I’m still not enamoured by that protruding design. The earbuds extend out of your ears by a good 20mm so with the headphones in your ears they look far from elegant and streamlined. I much prefer a low-profile fit in that regard. The tangle-free neckband is a good length, so you can drape the earphones around your neck when not in use. A clip is included to tidy up an excess slack.


Soul Run Free Pro remote

You have a choice of either blue, red or black finishes. The Run Free Pro are sweat proof as you would expect and you’re able to run the earbuds under water to clean them. They aren’t designed to be submerged, however.

You can at least wear the earbuds in two different ways, either straight in or looped over the back of your ears. Using the latter means you have to reverse the earbuds so that the inline remote is on the left, which of course reverses the stereo channels, which shouldn’t matter as the Run Free Pro are for exercising not watching films.

The inline three-button remote lets you control your music and adjust volume and works with iOS and Android devices without a hitch. There’s also a built-in microphone and this worked well for hands-free calling. There’s wind noise reduction, which worked well when walking and talking. The microphone isn’t designed to be used with the looped-over-ear wearing style, however, as this places the remote behind your ear. You also get a hard carry case, which is useful for transporting the headphones and all of the accessories.


Soul Run Free Pro case

The Run Free Pro will pair over Bluetooth 4.0 and even have surprising support for the aptX codec. It’s not something you really notice in terms of sound quality, however. The silicone tips do a good job of isolating you from the outside world, which in turn helps with the bass.

A solid fit is going to be critical here, as there’s not a massive amount of low-frequency representation to speak of. While I’m used to most running headphones over-elaborating on the low-end, the Run Free Pro are a little too subdued. Mids and trebles are crisp, however. The vocals and accompanying claps in Kanye West’s POWER came through nice and clearly.


Soul Run Free Pro wingtips

Battery life is rated at around 8 hours but in testing I struggled to get more than around 5 hours before needing a charge. Annoyingly, you barely get any advance notice that the battery is running low, too. No more than around 5 minutes after the initial warning the headphones were dead, so you’re going to need to remember to charge them. You only get an actual battery level readout if you’re using an iPhone, too, as there’s no vocalised battery level read out. A small LED also turns red on one of the earbuds but it’s very easy to miss.

Conclusion

The Soul Run Free Pro gets the fundamental of a good fit right and its sound is respectable. Where it loses points is for its inelegant design that’s simply too bulky and its disappointing battery life and management. For less money the BlueAnt Pump HD Sportsbuds are a better choice.

Hardware
Headphones subtypeIn-ear neckband
Headphones driverClosed
Active noise-cancellingNo
Power sourceNone
Headphones sensitivityNot disclosed
Frequency responseNot disclosed
Headphones impedenceNot disclosed
Plug typeN/A
Inline volumeYes
Weight17g
Cable lengthN/A
AccessoriesHard carry case, silicone tips, wingtips, cip
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.soulelectronics.com
Detailswww.amazon.co.uk
Part codeSoul Run Free Pro

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